McPHERSON — Costing the Great Bend High School varsity tennis team were near misses at the McPherson Invitational.
The seven-team invite lasted late into the night on Thursday.
McPherson won the tourney with 41 points, followed by Derby with 36 and the Lady Panthers checked in with 32 points, equaling the same point total by Newton.
“All of the No. 1s and No. 2s played in one bracketed tournament, so there were 14 in the singles tournament and 14 in the doubles,” GBHS head coach Shannon Schartz said.
“As a team, we didn’t play up to our potential. It was the first varsity action for freshman Macy Moyers and she was kind of up-and-down. At times, she was brilliant and other times she was making unforced errors.”
Moyers finished sixth at No. 2 singles.
Morgan Francis also was a second-place finisher at No. 1 singles, taking Derby’s Morgan Hughes down to the wire before falling, 8-7 (7-4).
“She cruised all the way to the finals and in the final match, she wound up losing to a Derby girl that went to the Class 6A state tournament last year,” Shannon Schartz said.
Needless to say, it was a battle of the Morgans.
“We’d yell, ‘Good shot, Morgan,’ and they’d both look over at us,” Shannon Schartz.
Shannon Schartz singled out senior Paola Ramirez, who played No. 2 doubles with Stephanie Langer. The duo finished in 14th place.
“Paola Ramirez had a real steady performance,” he said. “They were up-and-down, like our 1s (Jami McVay and Brianna Schartz). It was a very long day, and we ended up the night playing three tiebreakers in our last three matches and losing all three.
“The team had the potential to win the whole tournament. Had we won any of those tiebreakers, if Morgan would have won hers against Derby, it would have put us in second place ahead of Derby. We’ve just got to get better.”
Jami McVay and Brianna Schartz were fourth-place finishers, the highest of any GBHS team in the tourney, although Shannon Schartz said their play was spotty.
“We were coming off two fantastic days of practice (on Tuesday and Wednesday),” Shannon Schartz said. “If we would have played like we did on those days, we would have won the tournament.”
GBHS will play host to the Great Bend round robin on Tuesday at the Veterans Park tennis courts. Dodge City, Hays, Larned and Sterling will be serving as the opposition for the five-team tourney, which starts at 3 p.m.
— Mack McClure